MSI GT72 Dominator Pro General Performance

General performance isn’t nearly so exciting, as mostly we’re gated by the performance of the CPU and/or SSD. The GT72 is still plenty fast, but there haven’t been any major jumps in CPU performance for quite some time, especially when speaking of notebooks. Perhaps Broadwell will shake things up a bit next year, but for now the Haswell Core i7 processors continue to be plenty fast for all but the most demanding of users. Here’s a quick look at our standard CPU and system benchmarks, along with 3DMark for reference. Also note that we have WiFi performance at the bottom of the page.

PCMark 8 - Home

PCMark 8 - Creative

PCMark 8 - Work

PCMark 8 - Storage

PCMark 7 (2013)

Starting with PCMark, I ran the GT72 with both the GTX 980M and the HD 4600 Graphics. With Optimus laptops, you generally get the best of both worlds in that some tests use the discrete GPU while others use the Intel GPU (and the Computation and to a lesser extent Creativity subtests in PCMark 7 benefit greatly from Quick Sync). What's interesting is that where Intel's Processor Graphics were typically more than sufficient to post good results in PCMark 7, with PCMark 8 and the support of OpenCL acceleration the difference between the two GPUs suddenly becomes far more apparent.

The quad SSD RAID 0 array does prove potent as well, pushing our PCMark results about as high as we’ve ever seen on a notebook, but again it’s a case of diminishing returns. While PCMark 7's Storage test showed more of a difference between the various SSDs, in PCMark 8 all of the SSD-equipped laptops are basically tied.

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

There are no real surprises in our CPU tests: the GT72 with a Core i7-4710HQ is fast, though there are times where other notebooks with faster CPUs take the lead. The upgraded model with i7-4980HQ should improve performance by another 12-15%, but I’m not sure it would be worth the additional cost. Interestingly, the GT72 places at the top of the x264 HD second pass; it's possible the storage subsystem is a contributing factor, but the GT70 only has a hard drive so whatever the cause MSI 17.3" gaming notebooks do well in that test.

WiFi Performance - UDP

As for wireless performance, the dual-band Killer 1525 802.11ac solution worked well during testing. I didn’t notice any unusual drops or loss of connectivity, which is actually better than what I’ve experienced with many laptops using Intel’s 802.11ac solutions. (Many of those laptops need to have WiFi disabled/enabled every week or so in order to stay on a 5GHz connection, at least in my experience.) I can’t say much as to WiFi performance in crowded wireless locations, though; all I can report is that within the confines of my home and a few trips to public WiFi access didn’t create any issues. The raw throughput is also higher than any other WiFi solution we’ve tested in recent times, though as always there’s plenty of variance between runs.

As a side note, the GT72 also supports Killer Double Shot Pro with Smart Teaming (TM!), which basically allows the system to load balance between two connections. One example given is using the Gigabit Ethernet for gaming while you stream the video via Twitch over WiFi (or vice versa).

As for 3DMark, I include these charts mostly as a point of reference; it's far more useful to look at the performance of games you actually care about, but the results from 3DMark are more or less in agreement with our gaming scores.

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark 11

MSI GT72 Dominator Pro Gaming Performance MSI GT72 Dominator Pro Battery Life
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  • IgenIgen - Thursday, November 13, 2014 - link

    Radical overhaul: No. Incremental: Yes, at least part of the way. This years model has lost around 1 kg and is 0.8 cm slimmer, so there is that.

    Subjectively it was already a pretty good design, so I for one am happy that they did not re-invent it completely, and settled for shaving off a couple of pounds.

    My point with the IPS panel still stands.
  • dwade123 - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    Quite stupid to pay that much just to sign petition for console ports.
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    Does something like this exist in non laptop form you can plug just monitor/kb/mouse into and works?

    I've yet to see someone offer a SFF case that has all that stuff in it, minus monitor/kb/mouse.
  • Richdog - Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - link

    Every time I see someone comparing a laptop to a desktop, I just want to slap my forehead at how mind-numbingly dense these people are.

    if I wanted a desktop I would buy a desktop. However, I would like osmething with desktop-esque power that I can actually move around my house when the situation demands it, hell, something I can take on family holidays, or to a friends, etc etc etc.

    Anyone who cannot see the point of that, or at least the basic concept behind it, seriously needs to go for an IQ test, and check that they reach the minimum levels required to use a computer.

    Personally I just bought an ASUS G751 with 4GB 980M, beautiful IPS screen and a 4710HQ for $1980. All I need to do now is add an SSD for $200 and I then have an awesome and most importantly portable gaming machine that holds its own with the average high-end desktop PC.... for $2200.

    IMO that is a hell of a good deal, and a worthwhile investment for the next few years. :)
  • inperfectdarkness - Monday, December 1, 2014 - link

    This is the crux for me. I would get so very little enjoyment out of a desktop rig--because I'm always on the go.

    Now for the cost ($3,000) this one is a little pricey for my blood--especially with the piss-poor 1080p screen (IPS or TN wouldn't matter, imho). I do think it's great that MSI has revamped their design...but case design is a very small factor for me. What I really need is high-performance, high-rez display, and just enough features to keep me from complaining.

    I got my GT60 3k IPS edition back in January...and I STILL insit that it's one of the best gaming laptops in the market--if not THE best in the segment. 3k IPS screen, 16GB ram, 128 SSD for the oS & 1TB HDD, and a 780mGTX. And that's ~$2100 of laptop. $2200 even if you count switching to an intel Wi-Fi card--which I did after I got it. I could easily have configured it to $3,000 with most of the SSD/CPU upgrades from this one...but it would still have that IPS panel.

    It's not a knock on MSI--it's an indictment of the market in general. I ordered mine the day it became available for widespread sale in the USA--THAT'S how long I'd been waiting for something better than 1080p in 15" size.
  • russblevins76 - Monday, December 22, 2014 - link

    Think I searched this old or rcblevins56
  • milan666 - Sunday, April 19, 2015 - link

    Guys, is there anyone who actually bought this machine and been using it for a while? I am seriously considering to buy either this particular model or the G751JY from ASUS.

    I have been thoroughly searched the net, read blogs, reviews about both of them and to be honest after seeing what people experienced with the ASUS (buggy USB ports, black screen boots, dead pixels, faulty keyboard and their quality assurance in general) I am shitting bricks and afraid to go for one.

    So, after all, I am about to buy a GT72 2QE with the very similar specifications, but before I invest ~2000 euros to a laptop that might serves me in the next let's say 2 years, I am about to ask you.

    Is there anybody who has the same laptop? What are your observations? Have you experienced something erroneous, like recurrring black screen at start or any mechanical issues? And finally, what are your experiences with its good old TN panel?

    Many thanks in advance, have a great day!


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